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Centre Court set for test run

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:10

The event is scheduled for May 17 and could feature former British number one Tim Henman, four times a semi-finalist at the All England Club.

“The key thing for the new roof is the atmospherics and humidity conditions,” the club’s chief executive Ian Ritchie told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme. “We need to get 15,000 people inside to test the humidity. It’s a roof over a grass court and it’s not like a football or rugby pitch, we need it to be absolutely bone dry. We have to test the air conditioning and playing surface as well.”

Henman and former champion John McEnroe are among the names being linked to a number of exhibition matches, and Ritchie added: “We are looking to put together a good raft of people to come and play.

“We will probably put several matches on as we want to put on a day of entertainment and enjoyment to try and get a maximum crowd to come and see it.

“Tim is a member of the club and is helping us discuss the programme and plan it. It’s a possibility we might try and persuade him that it would be a good idea for him to come and play.

“We certainly hope he would do but it’s not finalised yet.”

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